Saturday, November 19, 2011

Making the Switch to Natural Beauty Products

A few months ago I wrote about a new obsession with a journey to get toxins out of my beauty care products. I think many people would like to switch out their beauty care products for healthier alternatives. The challenge is how to begin that journey and find products that work for you and your budget.

In May I finished using products on hand (or in some cases tossed them - sorry mom!) and made a switch. I went all out and changed everything I put on my body: shampoo, conditioner, detangler, body wash, deodorant, face cleanser, face and body lotions, and all make-up. I even stopped using regular nail polish and polish remover. If you are on a similar journey or want to start, I would like to share a few informational websites and product recommendations based on my own experience.

Product Information Resources: I don't have a lot of time to dedicate to understanding the science of what is and is not a good product or to review the thousands of products that are out there. I find and read things when I can. Resources that have helped me identify good products include The Glamorganic Goddessthe Environmental Working Group, and the Organic Consumers Association. The EWG has this amazing cosmetics database with more than 69,000 (!) products where you can research the ingredients of your products and find their ranking on a hazard scale. Its kind of depressing and scary, but good to know, don't you think? We have so many choices for products - so why not find something that is less of a potential health risk? Use this site to check out the ratings for the products you already use or new ones you are considering. Finding the results for products that I was already using is in part what motivated me to change. Many products that I thought should be good - because of their brand name or claim to being "natural" or "organic" - were not. It was a real eye opener.

Product Shopping: Whole Foods and independent health food stores still remain the best places to physically go and find products. However, I am doing most of my shopping online. You have far more choice and it takes less time. Many sites offer sales or special deals from time to time and many remove the shipping costs if you purchase a certain $ amount. So, planning and buying all at once can save you money. Also, once you find products you like, you don't have to keep buying them from product home sites. Shop around and price compare and find discount sites to purchase the products. Here are some of the places I've been shopping.

Vapour Organic Beauty. I buy the majority of my make up from this site. I love their products and have been very satisfied. Prices might be higher than drugstore make-up, but less than what you would pay for department store brands. It is worth it to me to buy this make-up. I don't but a lot of products and what I do buy I use carefully and sparingly so I don't waste it. Best of all this site will send you sample kits so you can try different products and test them out. It can be very frustrating when you have to consider buying new products that costs $20+ when you have no idea if you will like them or they will work. Products I use include: elixir plumping lip gloss, lux organic lip conditioner, clarity make up removing cleanser, stratus soft focus skin perfecter, and illusionist concealer. I am just about to try their eye shadow and powder.

Futurenatural Organic Beauty. Futurenatural offers a lot of fun product lines for hair, face and body care. This is where I buy my mascara. Have you ever smelled the mascara that you buy in the drugstore or department stores? Some of it is better than others, but once I focused on all the chemicals in this product, and how much some of the stuff SMELLS horribly like chemicals, I could no longer bring myself to put it on my eyes! Now I use a product with fruit pigment. You read the ingredients and you can understand every single one of them.

I have been buying non-toxic nail polish here (Zoya and Scotch Brand). Have you ever read the ingredients on your typical nail polish? Its some pretty scary stuff. We should know this just from the nasty smell of it. I never thought about this much until I started to see alternative nail polishes in places like Whole Foods. Once I really thought about what is in that polish and how stupid it seems to be putting it on my body, I just couldn't bring myself to use it anymore. I can't do it. It feels like I am poisoning myself. This non-toxic nail polish is a little different, but it works for me. Try it out - you can usually find it at your local Whole Foods.

Futurenatural sells John Masters Organics products which I really like. All of my facial care products come from his line and I sometimes use his shampoos and conditioners. I've found that you can find a pretty decent selection of his products at your local Whole Foods and you can also go directly to the John Masters Organics website. But remember to shop around because you can sometimes find better deals elsewhere. Futurenatural frequently offers specials and waives the shipping costs making it better to buy there.

Bubble & Bee Organic. This is a local Utah business and I really love their products. If you can't find their products in stores, you can find them on their website. I swear by their lotion sticks and I really like their body butters and deodorants. If you want to support a small business, and a really great one - shop here. I am thinking about this place for Christmas presents.

I know that switching out your daily beauty products can be challenging. It takes time to research and find and experiment with new products. The products you find and want to use might also cost more than your old products, so there is a financial commitment and adjustment. But, if you really want to do this, you can. I started this process simply by stumbling upon one or two products in my grocery store that caught my eye and I wanted to try. I liked them and realized they were healthier alternatives to what I had been using. Taking that first step motivated me to do more research (where I found the Glamorganic Goddess site). I don't have time or money or the energy to just go and try 20 different products and this site, with numerous personal product reviews, helped set me on my way. Recommendations from what has worked for others is a great help. So, if you are interested in making some changes and finding better products, I hope that these recommendations will help get you started on your own journey to eliminate toxins from your beauty products.

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